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André Breton - book author

André Breton was a French writer, poet, and surrealist theorist, and is best known as the principal founder of Surrealism. His writings include the Surrealist Manifesto (Manifeste du surréalisme) of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism".

André Breton is the author of books: Nadja, Manifestoes of Surrealism, Mad Love, Anthology of Black Humor, Poems of André Breton: A Bilingual Anthology, The Magnetic Fields, Surrealist Manifesto, The Automatic Message: The Magnetic Fields / The Immaculate Conception, Surrealism and Painting, Arcanum 17: With Apertures

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Manifestoes of Surrealism is a book by André Breton, describing the aims, meaning, and political position of the Surrealist movement.

The translators of this edition were finalists of the 1970 National Book Awards in the category of translation.
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Mad Love has been acknowledged an undisputed classic of the surrealist movement since its first publication in France in 1937. Its adulation of love as both mystery and revelation places it in the most abiding of literary traditions, but its stormy history and technical difficulty have prevented it from being translated into English until now. "There has never been any forbidden fruit. Only temptation is divine," writes André Breton, leader of the surrealists in Paris in the 1920s and '30s. Mad Love is dedicated to defying "the widespread opinion that love wears out, like the diamond, in its own dust." Celebrating breton's own love and lover, the book unveils the marvelous in everyday encounters and the hidden depths of ordinary things.
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This is the first publication in English of the anthology that contains Breton's definitive statement on l'humour noir, one of the seminal concepts of Surrealism, and his provocative assessments of the writers he most admired. While some of the authors featured in The Anthology of Black Humor are already well known to American readers--Swift, Kafka, Rimbaud, Poe, Lewis Carroll, and Baudelaire among them (and even then, Breton's selections are often surprising)--many others are sure to come as a revelation.

The entries range from the acerbic aphorisms of Swift, Lichtenberg, and Duchamp to the theatrical slapstick of Christian Dietrich Grabbe, from the wry missives of Rimbaud and Jacques Vache to the manic paranoia of Dali, from the ferocious iconoclasm of Alfred Jarry and Arthur Craven to the offhand hilarity of Apollinaire at his most spontaneous. For each of the forty-five authors included, Breton has provided an enlightening biographical and critical preface, situating both the writer and the work in the context of black humor--a partly macabre, partly ironic, and often absurd turn of spirit that Breton defined as "a superior revolt of the mind."

"Anthologies can aim to be groundbreaking or thought-provoking; few can be said to have introduced a new phrase--or a new concept--into the language. No one had ever used the term "black humour" before this one came along, unless, perhaps, it was from a racial angle."--The Guardian

Andre Breton (1896-1966), the founder and principal theorist of the Surrealist movement, is one of the major literary figures of the past century. His best-known works in English translation include Nadja, Mad Love, The Manifestoes of Surrealism, The Magnetic Fields (with Philippe Soupault), and Earthlight. Mark Polizzotti is the author of Revolution of the Mind: The Life of Andre Breton.


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Andre Breton (1896-1966) was the founder of Surrealism and a major leader of the avante-garde movement in France following World War I. This exceptional volume brings together the most comprehensive selection of poems by Breton available in the English language. Here, in a bilingual French-English format are 73 poems representing all styles and stages of the writer's career.
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Les Champs magnétiques (1920; The Magnetic Fields) is known as the first major surrealist work.
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This book collects together the two most vital "automatic" texts of Surrealism -- The Magnetic Fields (1919) and The Immaculate Conception (1930) -- with Breton's prefatory essay "The Automatic Message" which relates this technique to the underlying concepts and aesthetic of the Surrealist movement.
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Originally published in 1928 and augmented throughout the author's life, Surrealism and Painting is the single most important statement ever written on Surrealist art. While many pages have been devoted to visual Surrealism, this is the only book on the suject by the movement's founder and prime theorist. It contains Andra Breton's seminal treatise on the origins and foundations of artistic Surrealism, with his trenchant assessments of its precursors and practitioners, and his call for the plastic arts to "refer to a purely internal model." Also included are essays--many of them classics in their own right--on Picasso, Duchamp, Kahlo, Dal', Ernst, Masson, Gorky, Picabia, MirA, Magritte, Kandinsky, and others, as well as pieces on Gaulish art, outsider art, and the folk arts of Haiti and Oceania. But above and beyond the subject matter, what makes this book so enduringly compelling is Breton's signature mixture of rigorous erudition and visceral passion, his sense of adventure, and his discoveries of many of Modernism's most prominent figures early in their careers. Long unavailable in English, Surrealism and Painting is not only a supremely exciting work of art criticism, but also one of the three or four indispensable references for any serious discussion of modern art.
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Considered radical at the time, today Breton's ideas seem almost prescient, yet breathtaking in their passionate underlying belief in the indestructibility of life and the freedom of the human spirit. Andre Breton wrote Arcanum 17 during a trip to the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec in the months after D-Day in 1944, when the Allied troops were liberating Occupied Europe. Using the huge Perce Rock--its impermanence, its slow-motion crumbling, its singular beauty--as his central metaphor, Breton considers issues of love and loss, aggression and war, pacifism, feminism and the occult, in a book that is part prose and part poetry, part reality and part dream.

Translator Zack Rogow won the PEN-Book-of-the-Month Translation Prize for his co-translation of Breton's Earthlight.